John Gunderson has a knack for bringing the right people into the picture. When he wanted to blend the urgency and colorful exterior of the legendary 917 with a usable road car, he came up with this. A '73 911 Blending the classic Gulf livery, a 2,200-pound frame, and a 350-horsepower motor from Rothsport, is bound to convert even the most cynical Porsche haters.
Gunderson started with a real-deal long-hood 911, which was then stripped and fitted with hand-hammered steel fenders. Inside, a set of recline-equipped Recaro seats made the cut, providing a supportive enough seat for the odd blitz through the backroads, but plush enough to not require a chiropractor's services after using. Additionally, they don't disrupt the classic spartan theme inside—this is an RSR replica, after all.
Their support is dearly needed if the driver wants to exploit the power of the the 3.5-liter motor behind them. Fortunately, the Rothsport engine produces its power in a linear fashion and screams to a 7,000-rpm redline. That grunt is fortified by the closely stacked gears and short throw. Though the shifter throw is a little on the vague side, and the pedals are oddly positioned, that's the only real criticism that Zack Klapman can find. High praise from someone who has driven a little bit of everything.
Zack got up to speed quickly. Its direct steering, which is slightly vague in the center but quickly loads up, helps him position the car in quick canyon switchbacks. It's that detailed level of information through the pedals, the seat, and the steering which eventually brought the reluctant host over to the pro-Porsche side.
It's true—few cars are as persuasive as a purpose-built Porsche.